From Bright Idea to Business Success: SIUE’s Summer Entrepreneurship Academy Develops Future Leaders, Register Now!

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From Bright Idea to Business Success: SIUE’s Summer Entrepreneurship Academy Develops Future Leaders, Register Now!

Edwardsville’s Emily Cecil pitched her business plan for “Special Things” to a panel of experts during SIUE’s Summer Entrepreneurship Academy.High school students entering grades 9-12 will be inspired to pursue an entrepreneurial future by learning the steps to transform an innovative idea into a successful business venture during Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Summer Entrepreneurship Academy (SEA).

Hosted by the SIUE School of business, the SEA will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, June 17-21 on SIUE’s campus. Registration is now open at siue.edu/summer/camps/summer-entrepreneurship-academy.

Participants will spend their mornings learning business skills necessary to successfully launch a business. In the afternoon, teams will work on strengthening their teamwork and putting into practice the skills they’ve gained. The week-long experience will end with a pitch competition to a panel of local business owners and entrepreneurship experts.

The SEA also includes a field trip to a St. Louis-based entrepreneur think tank, and enjoy presentations from guest business experts, after which participants will work in small groups with the business-savvy visitors.

“All it takes to be successful in this camp is a desire to learn,” said camp organizer Katie Robberson, instructor in the School of Business’ Department of Management and Marketing. “Our main goal is to help students see how to put their entrepreneurial spirit into practice. For high school students with a drive to forge their own path, this will be an incredibly valuable experience.”

In its inaugural year, SEA participants developed such creative business ideas as a subscription box filled with snacks and sensory items for individuals with special needs, a shower head that dispenses soap with the water, a technologically-advanced mattress, and an online platform for generating gift ideas.

“I highly recommend this camp for anyone who wants to explore their interest in entrepreneurship,” said Emily Cecil, of Edwardsville, who won the 2018 pitch competition with her “Special Things” business concept.

“Getting one-on-one mentoring from the camp staff to help see my ideas turned into a true business plan was incredibly exciting,” she added. “Hearing personal stories and getting advice from local business owners was inspiring. The Summer Entrepreneurship Academy was an opportunity I am grateful I didn’t pass up. I look forward to being involved again this summer!”

For more information, contact Robberson at [email protected].

Photo: Edwardsville’s Emily Cecil pitched her business plan for “Special Things” to a panel of experts during SIUE’s Summer Entrepreneurship Academy.